Klaus van den Berg received his B.A. from the Freie Univeristät Berlin and his Ph.D. from Indiana University. His research centers on visual culture and the dramaturgy of space with particular focus on scenography in performance, the role of spectacle in contemporary society, the interlacing of urban landscapes and performance venues, and the image as a central issue of critical theory. He is currently working on a book that will provide the first in-depth account of Walter Benjamin’s concept of Bildraum (image-space) as a foundational concept for the theory and practice of twentieth-century performance.
As dramaturg, he has specialized in translations and stage adaptations, including the US premieres of Tabori’s My Mother’s Courage, Mein Kampf, and The Brecht File. His most recent work, a translation and adaptation of Schiller’s eighteenth-century classic The Robbers, was produced professionally at the Asolo Conservatory in Sarasota in February 2012.
He teaches theatre history, dramatic literature, performance theory, and dramaturgy. Among the classes he has taught on the undergraduate level are the multi-course sequences of world theatre history and play analysis. He has offered specialized courses for the undergraduate majors and Honors students, as well as upper level courses in Directing and Dramaturgy and City and Performance. Among the courses on the graduate level are seminars focusing on individual writers (Brecht, Strindberg, and Ibsen), on dramaturgical issues (Reading Strategies and Performance), on teaching theatre history through its connection to cinema, and on the history of directing).
He is a member of the American Society for Theatre Research, International Federation of Theatre Research, the Modern Foreign Language Association, and Literary Mangers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.
“Spiel-Raum in Graf Öderland and Don Juan.” Olaf Berwald, ed. A Companion to the Works of Max Frisch. Rochester: Camden-House Press, 2013: 33-56.
“Staging a Vanished Community: Daniel Libeskind Scenography in the Berlin Jewish Museum.” D.J. Hopkins et al., eds.
Performance and the City. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009: 222-239.
“The Royal Robe with Folds: Translatability in Schiller’s The Robbers. The Mercurian 2.2 (2009): 254-264.
“Contemporary German Scenography: Surging Images and Spaces for Action.” Contemporary Theatre Review 18.1 (2008): 6-19.“
“Dimiter Gotscheff: The Fine Art of Political Spectacle.” TheatreForum 32 (2008): 3-12.
“Michael Thalheimer: Seducing the Audience with Suggestive Images.” TheatreForum 30 (2007): 65-72.
“Scenography and Submedial Space: Frank Castorf’s “Final Destination America” (2000) and “Forever Young” (2003) at the Volksbühne Berlin.” Theatre Research International 32:1 (2007): 49-67.
“Frank Castorf’s Vision of America: The Pathology of Cultural Roles in a Mediatized Society.” Text and Presentation 2005 (2005): 212-222.
Selected National and International Dramaturgy
Molière. Tartuffe. Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT. 2012.
Friedrich Schiller. The Robbers. Asolo Conservatory, Sarasota, FL. 2012.
Sam Shepard. Buried Child, English Theatre Berlin, Germany, 2010.
Georg Büchner. Danton’s Death. International Theatre, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. 2009.
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre, Madison, NJ. 2008.
Friedrich Schiller. Don Carlos Workshop. American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco, CA. 2000.
Arthur Miller. All My Sons. 7Stages, Atlanta, GA. 1997.
George Tabori. My Mother’s Courage. 7Stages, Atlanta, GA. U.S. Premiere, 1995.